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'Divided, but United'
January 5, 2011
Lindsey Schoemann Tricinella and her husband, Tony Tricinella, joke about their school rivalry before cutting a wedding cake at the Meadowbrook Country Club on Jan. 1. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World
She likes Jenks and OU. He likes Union and OSU. Now, they're divided but united
by: MATT GLEASON Tulsa World Scene Writer
(Reprinted with Permission. This is not an endorsement.)
Drain the school colors away. Gone are the crimson and cream of Lindsey Schoemann's University of Oklahoma. So goes the orange and black of Tony Tricinella's Oklahoma State University.
Then siphon the maroon and white from Schoemann's Jenks High and vampire the red and black from Tricinella's Union High.
Without all those school colors in the way, the focus goes right where it belongs: to the ivory of Schoemann's elegant gown on the first day of the first month of the 11th year of this century - 1/1/11. The easy-to-remember wedding date marks the beginning of two lives hewn together by vows and divided by school colors that now gush back into their story.
Tricinella was born into a house divided by his nutritionist mother's OSU background and his dentist father's OU upbringing.
Schoemann's mother, a lawyer, and father, a dentist, both attended OU. But her father, Dee Schoemann, crossed to the orange side when he attended OSU's medical school in Tulsa.
Both Tricinella, 28, and Schoemann, 26, attended the same medical school. For the past six months, they have been medical residents at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas. It's been called "the Mayo of the South." Schoemann is an internal medicine resident; Tricinella's an anesthesia resident.
Growing up, both Tricinella and Schoemann yearned to attend OU. So, at least early on, their paths to Norman ran parallel. After all, they both attended Jarman Elementary en route to Union High. Then Schoemann, who never met the older Tricinella in elementary school, moved to the Jenks school district for the sixth grade. Eventually, a single football field separated the destined pair as Jenks and Union clashed in one state championship after another.
They still trash talk all these years after Tricinella graduated in 2001; Schoemann a year later.
Schoemann's a "terrible sport," she said, when they watch the annual Jenks-Union Backyard Bowl on TV.
After high school, Schoemann made her way to OU, while Tricinella opted for OSU.
This is how Schoemann tells the story of why Tricinella chose Stillwater over Norman.
"He had been wanting to go to OU his whole life," Schoemann said, "then he went on a tour of OU, and he felt people were snobby. He just felt like a number. When he went to OSU, everyone was so friendly, he felt that was where he was supposed to be."
This is what Schoemann thinks about her beloved OU being called "snobby."
"Honestly, sometimes we are," she said, then giggled. "It's just hard to not be snobby when you're better than everybody." Again, laughter punctuates her words.
Then she said, "Can you imagine what his life has been like since he met me?"
Tricinella's grin on his wedding day answered that question quite nicely.
After Tricinella graduated from OSU with a master's degree in business administration in 2005, the path that led him away from Schoemann after elementary school found its way back to her at OSU's medical school.
Tricinella's orange scrubs fit right in at the school, but Schoemann's crimson scrubs were met with deriding hollers. She wore them anyway.
It wasn't until their second year, in the winter of 2007, that the pair's friendship became something more.
"It wasn't like this love-at-first-sight, lovey-dovey stuff," Schoemann said. "When we first started dating, it just felt right."
The feeling was right, but that didn't change the fact that she was not only dating a sworn nemesis of Jenks High, but also her beloved Sooners.
"I thought maybe one day I could convince him to come to the other side," Schoemann kidded, "because it was so obvious that Jenks and OU are far superior. I really didn't think that he would be stubborn in his love for Union and OSU.
"Unfortunately, he's even more in love with those schools than ever. And he made me fall in love with him in the meantime, so I'm stuck with it."
She's stuck, yes, but not beyond giving concessions in their living-room cold war.
In 2009, Schoemann, who owns a T-shirt that declares "I Hate Orange," actually wore an orange OSU T-shirt when she accompanied her beau to the OSU homecoming football game. She wouldn't have gone to the game, or worn the T-shirt, if it hadn't been his birthday weekend.
Early on in their relationship, Schoemann told her man that she would never date anyone longer than a year if they weren't engaged. The chaos of medical school - and two years of searching for a hospital where they could both be medical residents - got in the way of that plan.
Then, about 2 1/2 years later - and a week before they both graduated medical school in May - Tricinella surprised Schoemann with a bent knee and her "dream ring." Then he made pancakes, her favorite food.
Soon after, a wedding date - one that couldn't be budged because of their hectic schedules - was set: 1/1/11.
Then OU ended up in the Fiesta Bowl on the very same day. For an OU alum who has attended every OU bowl game since her girlhood, she lamented, "This is the first bowl game I'm missing, because it's on my stinkin' wedding day." Then, as she's known to do, Schoemann giggled.
So, as Sooner luck would have it, Schoemann set her wedding reception at Meadowbrook Country Club, which has big screen TVs near the bar. Each one was tuned to ESPN for the Fiesta Bowl, when OU defeated Connecticut, on her big day.
As a surprise, Schoemann had the groom's cake include all of their school colors: Jenks and OU on the left; Union and OSU on the right.
To keep the peace at home, their school colors are all in boxes - save the lone OSU ornament on their Christmas tree (a gift from Tricinella's father). Even their vehicles are naked of stickers.
"If we started this battle, our entire house would be filled with OSU cups. OU cups. OU aprons. OSU aprons," she said of the in-home Bedlam. "Everything would be black and orange or crimson and white."
Once the Bedlam groom's cake had been sliced, and the DJ had played his last song, neither a Sooner Schooner nor a mounted Pistol Pete escorted the couple into their new lives together. Just a sleek black limousine.
Schoemann surprised Tricinella with a groom's cake adorned with opposing team logos. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World